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Making Thinking Visible

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  372 ratings  ·  49 reviews
A proven program for enhancing students' thinking and comprehension abilities Visible Thinking is a research-based approach to teaching thinking, begun at Harvard's Project Zero, that develops students' thinking dispositions, while at the same time deepening their understanding of the topics they study. Rather than a set of fixed lessons, Visible Thinking is a varied colle ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 3rd 2011 by Jossey-Bass (first published March 25th 2011)
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Making Thinking Visible lobbies teachers to change from knowledge instruction towards deeper synthesizing and understanding instruction. Although this is not a new concept, Bloom's Taxonomy etc., practical routines are shared as to how to deepen student thinking while at the same time helping teachers assess this process.

One of my favored parts was the DVD accompaniment where I was able to witness teachers meeting to discuss how their routines were working in the classroom. Ego aside, student f
Laura McCarthy
MTV is a book to make us (teachers) more thoughtful about the thinking our student do. The book identifies different types of thinking and describes a number of thinking routines that can help students 'see' their thinking and collaborate with peers. The use of the thinking routines has significantly raised the level of the language my First Graders are able to use effectively to explain and expand their thoughts. The website (Project Zero at Harvard) has a number of the routines that you can br ...more
In this day and age of standardized testing, there are many that lament the decline of education, so greater emphasis has been placed on developing critical thinking skills in many classrooms. This book outlines a way of developing critical thinking in students through the use of thinking routines. The suggestions given in this book are very practical and are applicable to almost any subject and to students of almost any level. One thing that I particularly liked is that this book disregards Blo ...more
Amal Shoeib
The book content is as catchy as the title. I found it extremely helpful in my research on how to enhance the learning experience in the classroom. The book is basically about how the thinking ability of students is prompted by writing their thoughts or recording them as audiotapes. The students get a better sense of where their perception about something was and how-progressively- it changed and extended. Students are able to connect parallel things and create patterns; They are able to explore ...more
I like that this book was not all theory. The authors provided useful strategies and specific routines that help to create a culture of thinking in the classroom. For each routine discussed, there was a "picture of practice" which demonstrated that routine in action in an actual classroom. The authors suggested the type of material or activity best suited to each routine and talked about what might have gone wrong if it didn't work. There are teachers from all grade levels represented so in some ...more
Aug 12, 2012 Suzette rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teachers.
Shelves: teaching, pedagogy
So I'm reading this after finishing Why Don't Kids Like School. So far, book emphasizes the process of understanding, and not working memory. In Why Don't Kids Like School there's a strong argument for practicing and memorizing certain facts to increase the room in working memory and thus be able to develop understanding more easily. This doesn't mean the books are in opposition. It just seems to me that reading them so close together gives me the chance to think what kinds of knowledge I need m ...more
Anticipating the February 2015 publication of Creating Cultures of Thinking: The 8 Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform Our Schools nudged me to reflect on how much Ron Ritchhart's previous books, Intellectual Character and Making Thinking Visible, have shaped my teaching and thinking life. Intellectual Character is my touchstone text; it gets at the core of why I teach and challenges me to continue to stretch in my own understandings of learning. Making Thinking Visible provides me concrete ...more
Excellent resource! I love the simplicity in the routine explanations, the variations of each, and the work samples. I've been using these routines weekly and have seen a great improvement in discussion, thinking and quality of work. I've also seen a dramatic increase in student participation and motivation. This is especially exciting as I work with struggling students, many of whom are more than a grade level behind. To see this transformation is exciting and encouraging. As a teacher, this bo ...more
A great read for those teachers wondering "Are my students really learning or are we going through the motions?" Also like the examples and variations in the applications of the Thinking Routines. After reading this I've scrapped some of my classroom tasks for richer and deeper learning.
Wonderful routines are introduced to help make your students thinking visible. Pairs well with What Readers Really Do ... both books strive to put the students' thinking in a place of importance instead of the canned answers that can be parroted with much thought at all.
Carrie Nepstad
Fabulous resource! This book goes into excellent detail about using thinking routines to make student learning visible. I met Ron Ritchhart when I attended the Future of Learning conference at Harvard Graduate School of Education. I was fortunate to be a student in one of his seminars and had the wonderful experience of participating in a thinking routine from the perspective of a student. This was a powerful learning experience and I look forward to implementing these routines with my own stude ...more
Mike Cosgrave
Great book, builds on the Visible Thinking and Cultures of Thinking projects at Harvard but a lot of the content is material which really should be discoverable on the web in this day and age ( 2014).
1. Learning is a consequence of thinking.
2. Learning is as much a collective endeavor as it is an individual process.
3. Learning is provisional, incremental, and evolving in nature.
4. Learning involves continual questioning aimed at uncovering the complexity of ideas.
5. Learning is an active process that entails getting personally involved.

Classrooms can become places of intellectual stimulation where learning is viewed not in test scores but in the development of individuals who can think, plan
Colleen Brazill-murray
Loved this book! Useful, easy to flip around and tinker with new ways to help students. Lots of examples. Loved it.
Smita Deorah
Good, though almost all the resources are available online so the book did not add a lot of additional value
Several very good teaching ideas within.
A good book that presents a set of routines to make students think about what they have learned, connections and extensions. For Math, was lacking in the digging deeper into ideas.
Kipriadi prawira
Brilliant ideas! The first chapter of this book unpacks thinking. This initial list of ’thinking moves that are integral to understanding’ really resonates for me:

1. Observing closely and describing what’s there
2. Building explanations and interpretations
3. Reasoning with evidence
4 Making connections
5. Considering different perspectives
6. Capturing the heart and forming conclusions
7. Wondering and questioning
8. Uncovering complexity and going below the surface of things

This is what meaningful le
Invaluable book. Discusses both the research behind and the application of 20+ routines that can help teachers really push student to expand and deepen their thinking. Above and beyond the simple 'how-tos', the writers get into how teachers create - or compromise - the cultures and environments for thinking in their classrooms. This is a fabulous book for all teachers, regardless of subject area or age, though I suspect will be more helpful with those who have a year or two under their belt.
Lori Fritz
This book is really interesting and inspiring philosophically;but strangely, when I have tried the strategies, they didn't work that well. Perhaps because I already have some similar strategies that the students are used to using so the more familiar routines seem to work better. I am going to try again though in the New Year, starting with a mind mapping strategy that looks full of potential.
Great resource for teachers (at any level). Extremely readable, based upon research, and very practical. I love reading finding a book like this over the summer - it reinvigorates me as a teacher and encourages me to reinvestigate goals for myself as a teacher and my students. Can't wait to return to this text again and again over the next few months and many summers to come in the future.
This book really helped guide me to have more inquiry based teaching in my classroom. In particular, the see think wonder, explanation games, and 3, 2, 1 bridge are routines I use regularly.

I'm also going to use the 4 c's for teaching Go Tell it On a Mountain and Native Son with my honors class next report period.

Thinking outloud in a classroom is awesome.
Another great book that will help teachers guide students to critical thinking skills. The first chapter made me realize that I really did not know what it meant to think. Real eye-opener. Offeres numerous simple but effective routines to help students develop an understanding of concepts and content. DVD is excellent.
Brian Cleary
Brilliant ideas, great applications and very wordy. It felt a bit like being back in lecture hall my freshman year of college. I was excited and overwhelmed and still somehow thought the speaker could should have tried to connect with the audience.
all that said, its a book we all should read at least part of.
Loved this. Easy to read. Says what it needs to say with no jargon. Thinking routines at back are useful. Already used 'see, think, wonder' with two year groups. Many of the others I've been using over the years under different guises, but great to renew enthusiasm for getting them thinking.
Kate Hastings
My principal recommended this book to me. As I try to incorporate more "I can..." statements into my lessons-- this book has some creative ways to assess student comprehension and get their reactions to stories we read. Be warned-- the intro is very academic and dry. Skip to the good parts!
Alisha G
This is designed for classroom teachers, not parents, so not all of the strategies are especially applicable to the informal teaching done in the home. However, there are some basic tactics that are useful, not least the idea that we should be teaching our children *how* to think.
Joanie Bowen
Very important book for teachers! You want to improve your teaching, this is a good place to start. It makes you think about student engagement
and just how you are delivering content in your classroom. The thinking routines can change your classroom in a big way! Loved it!
Dec 14, 2014 Angie marked it as to-read
Shelves: grown-up
Was enjoying it but my checkout period timed out ... and I sort of feel like this one would be better in hard copy where I could make physical notes. The e-format was hard for me. Really this is one I'd like to see presented by someone who really "gets" it and has used it.
This book is a "must read" for teachers who want to reflect on their practice to deepen their own thinking and their students' thinking about learning. It shares both the theory of critical thinking in schools and practical strategies and routines for making it happen.
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Ron Ritchhart is currently a Senior Research Associate at Harvard Project Zero where his work focuses on such issues as teaching for understanding, the development of intellectual character, creative teaching, making students' thinking visible, and most recently the development of school and classroom culture. Ron's research and writings, particularly his theory of Intellectual Character and frame ...more
More about Ron Ritchhart...
Intellectual Character: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How to Get It Creating Cultures of Thinking: The 8 Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform Our Schools Through Mathematical Eyes: Exploring Functional Relationships in Math and Science Pythagoras' Bow Tie

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“Bloom identified a sequence of six learning objectives that he felt moved from lower-order to higher-order thinking: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. However, these ideas were just a theory and were not based on research on learning. Nonetheless, they have become codified into the way many teachers are taught to think about thinking.” 0 likes
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